Sitting for a portrait

Explore the portraits of the Museum of Fine Arts of Nîmes

Portrait de Lucrèce Borgia (vers 1510) by Bartolomeo VENETOMusée des Beaux-arts

Lucrèce (EN)
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Bartolomeo Veneto—Lucrezia Borgia

Painted between 1510 and 1520, this oil on canvas is the only surviving reliable testimony of Lucrezia Borgia's representation. Attributed by American art historian Bernard Berenson to Bartolomeo Veneto, it is now considered to be a copy of an original by the master.

Portrait de Paolo Gerolamo Franzone (1687) by Giovanni Enrico VAYMERMusée des Beaux-arts

Giovanni Enrico Vaymer—Paolo Gerolamo Franzoni

This painting represents Paolo Gerolamo Franzoni (1619–1702), who served several times as senator of the Republic of Genoa, from 1664 to 1687. Judging by the age of the subject, this portrait seems to have been painted in latter of these years, when he was 68 years old.

The identity of the model was easily ascertained by the signature on the letter he is holding and by his outfit.

Initially thought to be a work of the Spanish school, it was later successively attributed to two Italian artists. The painting was finally attributed to Gio Enrico Vaymer in 2000 thanks to studies of his work.

Portrait de Francesco Marceliano de Barea, capucin (vers 1630) by Pierre Paul RUBENSMusée des Beaux-arts

Rubens (FR)
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Peter Paul Rubens—Capuchin Francesco Marceliano de Barea

Rubens was the undisputed leader of the Flemish school of the first half of the 17th century. Few portraits painted by the master are to be found in French public collections, and the Museum of Fine Arts of Nîmes is privileged to own such a fine example.

Portrait d'un Bourgmestre hollandais (vers) by Sébastien BOURDONMusée des Beaux-arts

Sébastien Bourdon—Dutch Mayor

This portrait entitled Dutch Mayor (Bourgmestre hollandais) entered the museum's collections in 1948. Its high quality ranks it among the most beautiful portraits of the museum and makes it a perfect addition to the Dutch School collection. 

Bourdon (EN)
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Unsigned and undated, this portrait prompts questions about its creator. Specialists have agreed to attribute it to the Montpellier-born painter Sébastien Bourdon, whose other paintings bear similarities to the one in Nîmes. 

Marie Sallé, La Terpsichore française (19e siècle) by Jeanne ItasseMusée des Beaux-arts

Jeanne Itasse—Marie Sallé, The French Terpsichore

Marie Sallé (1707–1756) was one of the greatest French dancers and choreographers of the 18th century. Nicknamed Terpsichore, after the Muse of Dance, she performed in the corps de ballet of the Royal Academy of Music. 

Marie Sallé, La Terpsichore française (19e siècle) by Jeanne ItasseMusée des Beaux-arts

Her lyrical dance and her talent as an actress earned her the admiration of her friends, among which were the composer Handel and the writer Voltaire. As one of the first female choreographers, she developed the art of ballet and revolutionized dance with her new style of interpretation. 

In 1881, the Ministry of Public Instruction commissioned Jeanne Itasse this bust for the Glacier Rotunda at the Palais Garnier opera house in Paris, the headquarters of the National Academy of Music. 

Marie Sallé, La Terpsichore française (19e siècle) by Jeanne ItasseMusée des Beaux-arts

With great elegance, movement, and expression, the dancer is portrayed in a three-quarter view. The plaster of the work was purchased by the state in 1886 and was left in Nîmes three years later.

Autoportrait (1714) by Jacques-François DELYENMusée des Beaux-arts

Jacques-François Delyen—Self-portrait

Of Flemish origin, Jacques-François Delyen was one of the apprentices of artist Nicolas de Largillière. Like his master, he specialized in the portrait genre and inherited a certain taste for shimmering, colorful fabrics and a keen sense of accuracy in depicting faces.

Autoportrait, Jacques-François DELYEN, 1714, From the collection of: Musée des Beaux-arts
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Portrait de la mère du peintre, Jacques-François DELYEN, 1714, From the collection of: Musée des Beaux-arts
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According to the inscription on the folder held by the painter, the two portraits of the artist and of his mother were painted very early in his career, back in 1714.

Autoportrait (1714) by Jacques-François DELYENMusée des Beaux-arts

In this self-portrait, the painter captured himself in his studio. In the background, in the upper right corner, a palette, an antique head, and a sculpture can be seen. 

The black clothes certainly allude to mourning (the artist's father died at that time) and emphasize the intimate character of the portrait.

Baron de Chabaud-La-Tour by Charles Aimé IrvoyMusée des Beaux-arts

Charles Aimé Irvoy—Baron de Chabaud-La-Tour

The bust of General Baron Chabaud-La-Tour entered the museum's collections thanks to a donation from Baron Chabaud-La-Tour son to the city of Nîmes in 1902. It is an official portrait of the general depicted wearing his Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor, his uniform, and his medals.

Baron de Chabaud-La-Tour by Charles Aimé IrvoyMusée des Beaux-arts

Sculptor Irvoy here pays homage to the politician, the man of resistance, the defender senator, and the army leader. Beyond the official portrait of the high official, the sculptor made a psychological portrait of the general.

Baron de Chabaud-La-Tour by Charles Aimé IrvoyMusée des Beaux-arts

With his steady and upward gaze, the man is shown in his prime, still powerful and conquering, displaying a natural poise and a distinguished air. 

Credits: Story

Realization: Ville de Nîmes - Musée des Beaux-Arts 
Iconography: © Ville de Nîmes - Musée des Beaux-Arts     

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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